Fairfax County police say a Chantilly man has allegedly confessed to stealing some $50,000 worth of jewelry from a Kmart in Annandale where he worked as a janitor. He is Hector Jose Antonio, 30, of 13283-B Leafcrest Lane, No. 101, in the Shenandoah Crossing apartments.
In an Oct. 10 affidavit for a warrant for search for some of the jewelry in Antonio's home, Det. Robert LeBlanc presented details of the case against him. On that day, LeBlanc began investigating a grand larceny that occurred Oct. 7 at the Kmart at 4231 John Marr Drive in Annandale.
THE DETECTIVE interviewed Eric Elster, Kmart's district loss-prevention manager for that store. He wrote that, on Oct. 9, Elster was notified that an audit of the store's jewelry section revealed several jewelry pieces unaccounted for and not sold.
This finding triggered an internal investigation, including a review of the store's video-surveillance records. According to LeBlanc, "The surveillance records dated Oct. 7 clearly reflected a member of the night cleaning crew using a screwdriver to breech the doors of the jewelry case and remove items of jewelry without permission or tendering payment."
The detective was advised what items were missing. And on Oct. 10 at that store, Elster confronted Antonio — who was reportedly identified as the person on the video. LeBlanc wrote that — with translation help from another store employee, Rene Lopez — Antonio allegedly admitted to having taken the jewelry in question.
Wrote LeBlanc: "Antonio [reportedly] confessed to having stolen about $50,000 worth of jewelry from Kmart on at least four different occasions, and [he] provided a written statement [with the details]."
Upon interviewing Lopez further, the detective also learned that Antonio's explanation for the crimes was that "he had been selling the jewelry through street transactions and subsequently sending the cash proceeds to his sick parents in Mexico." In addition, wrote LeBlanc, "Antonio further clarified that several items of jewelry remained in his residence, having not yet been sold."
AFTER DETERMINING Antonio's address, the detective obtained a search warrant to look for the missing jewelry in his apartment. Police executed the warrant Oct. 12 and seized approximately $8,210 worth of jewelry, as well as records and documents, plus allegedly fraudulent identification.
The jewelry included several gold rings with diamonds, a gold ring with a ruby, three gold-link bracelets and gold earrings. Most of it was either 10- or 14-carat gold, and some items were pretty pricey.
For example, one set of three, 14-carat gold rings with a diamond cost $1,500; a set of two 14-carat gold rings with a diamond was marked $1,660; and one particular 14-carat gold ring with a diamond cost $1,200.
Police arrested Antonio on Oct. 10, charging him with two counts of grand larceny and two counts of larceny with intent to sell. He's being held on $30,000 bond and has a Jan. 8 court date.